Yesterday at Los Al, we saw Gimme Da Lute capture the Los Alamitos Derby. Today, we have a 9 race card. Below are my selections for the thoroughbred races as well as bonus selections for the nighttime quarter horse races.
- Race 1: Moonlight Meeting
- Race 2: Little Emma
- Race 3: Sheza Eyeopener
- Race 4: Warren Goldnugget
- Race 5: Bandido Too
- Race 6: Sir Barclay
- Race 7: Mr T Quick
- Race 8: Grand Yodeler
- Race 9: Ride the Shark
- Quarter Horse:
- Race 1: Elusive Mistress
- Race 2: Iconic Vin
- Race 3: Raggin Wood
- Race 4: J B Perry
- Race 5: Back At You
- Race 6: Oink
- Race 7: One Sweet Dove
- Race 8: Sinister Plot
- Race 9: Moonist/Last to Fire (Exacta Box)
It’s Fourth of July and that means its the Stars and Stripes Festival at Belmont Park! I’ve looked at all the races as well as some of the other stakes races around the country to prepare you for the big day!
- Los Alamitos:
- Los Alamitos Derby: While I look at Kentuckian as a very tough horse to get past, Pain and Misery was very impressive in his runner up finish in the Pat Day Mile. He then went on to win the Charles Taylor Derby at Albuquerque as his prep for this race. He also has a third place finish behind Firing Line in the Sunland Park Derby. Very live and can be at a price.
- Belmont Park:
- Victory Ride: In the Acorn, Promise Me Silver just went way to fast early to keep the lead in a pretty competitive race. With this step down in class, Promise Me Silver should get a nice run and coast away in style to open up the Belmont Park stakes card.
- Dwyer: One 3yo that I’ve been keeping my eye on this year is Blofeld. Winner of the Futurity at Belmont and the Nashua at Aqueduct, this Todd Pletcher trainee is three for three at New York and I doubt that Blofeld will lose in this spot with John Velazquez aboard.
- Belmont Derby: While I am excited for this race, it isn’t the most impressive of Belmont Derbys. I lean towards Startup Nation, a lightly raced 3yo. Chad Brown is tough to stop on the turf at Belmont and Startup Nation should relish the distance.
- Suburban Handicap: Tonalist is hard to stop at Belmont Park, but I know one horse that can. Coach Inge was very impressive on Belmont Stakes Day in the Brooklyn and looks like this spot will be nice.
- Belmont Oaks: Aidan O’Brien doesn’t send too many horses across the pond but the Boys of Ballydoyle have a live runner in Outstanding, a full sister to Magician, who really came alive as a 3yo. Outstanding won the Naas Oaks Trial last week and is in prime form. O’Brien doesn’t bring over a horse unless he knows that he will win. Colm O’Donoghue gets the call (50% in the money in the US over his career) on a horse who’s odds can easily rise. I respect Lady Eli and Spanish Queen, but Outstanding seems to fit here.
- Belmont Sprint: Before the scratches, I liked Bay of Plenty on the rail, but with him and The Big Beast out of the race, Private Zone is just too good.
- Pocono Downs:
- Sun Invitational: Today is a day I’ve been waiting for over the past few weeks. Not because of the thoroughbred stakes but because of the harness races. My favorite trotter Sebastian K makes his 2015 debut for Ake Svanstedt here and is much the best in this field. Gural Hanover is a horse that has a chance to upset the field though, going 1:51.3 in his qualifier.
- James M. Lynch: Yannick Gingras gets the call to drive for Ron Burke on Sassa Hanover, a very quick pacer. Tough to get past this favorite here.
- Max Hempt: Wiggle It Jiggleit and Wakizashi Hanover come out of the Pepsi North American Cup two weeks ago. Wakizashi Hanover was much the best and while Wiggle It Jiggleit may be the best horse in this field, but the small track of Pocono might not be the best fit for him.
- Ben Franklin: Having seen Foiled Again get beat in the TVG FFA by the champion Sweet Lou, I know he is beatable. I look to State Treasurer to pull off a win here. He comes out of a win in the Gold Cup at Mohawk two weeks ago.
- Earl Beal: The big race of the night is the Earl Beal, a prep for the Hambletonian. Two of Darrin Zocalli’s top horses for the Hambo are in this field, Pinkman and Uncle Lasse. Uncle Lasse has been riding in the shadow of Pinkman as a 2yo, but has really turned on the heat in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at Pocono. Uncle Lasse, my early Hambo pick, is ready to turn the tables on Pinkman and move up in the Hambo standings.
Outside of that, you have Louisiana Legends night at Evangeline downs, which has the Louisiana Legends Sprint, capped by the basically unstoppable Heitai. Going to be a jam packed 4th of July. Have a great holiday and enjoy the races!
Happy Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy the nice weather, the bbqs, the fireworks, and of course all of the great racing action across the nation. One of the tracks running today is Los Alamitos and it is time for my picks for the day!
- Race 1: 3- Wish I Understood
- Race 2: 6- Swiss Heart
- Race 3: 1- Jamie Said No
- Race 4: 6- Warrior Thatcher
- Race 5: 2- Ballado’s Banker
- Race 6: 10- Tiz Love
- Race 7: 8- Class Divine
- Race 8: 3- Pain and Misery
- Race 9: 9- Beyond Lucky
Just a note on race 3, Jamie Said No, a 2yo colt from Cape Blanco out of a Forestry mare, is one to watch, not just here, but also at Del Mar. His first start was at a mile on the turf at Santa Anita. Broke out early and had nothing. He will improve off that and Cape Blanco horses do well on the turf to dirt to turf angle. Watch. I added him to my virtual stable.
Good Luck Today and my stakes picks will be out later today.
After an exciting opening day at Los Alamitos, we are on to day 2 of the short meet. No stakes races today but a very nice card leading up to the Los Alamitos Derby day tomorrow. Also, as an added bonus, I included my picks for the quarter horse races that commence after Los Al finishes the thoroughbred races.
- Thoroughbred Races
- Race 1: 1- Mayie
- Race 2: 7- Octofy
- Race 3: 10- Yodel Up a Storm
- Race 4: 4- Just Bookin
- Race 5: 6- Peacock Strut
- Race 6: 1- Desert Gem
- Race 7: 8- Tatum’s Gold
- Race 8: 2- American Blend
- Quarter Horse Races
- Race 1: 6- La Jolla Cowboy
- Race 2: 2- Capricho Czech
- Race 3: 7- Sixarun Babe
- Race 4: 3- Fix Upper
- Race 5: 3- Market Display
- Race 6: 4- Kitsi
- Race 7: 2- Bac N Style
- Race 8: 4- Amber Brock
It is Los Alamitos Season! And with the start of one of my favorite thoroughbred meets at one of my favorite tracks, I have full card selections for each day of the meet, and just for day one, full card analysis. Here is day one, headlined by the $25,000 Bertrando Stakes for California Breds.
- Race 1:
- A nice race to start the meet features 5 mares going six furlongs. Speed is key at Los Alamitos and whoever can get in front early should win easily in the sprints at the meet. Here, there are two speedsters, Prima Gianna and Shy Rosa. Both love to get out to an early lead. Shy Rosa is the obvious choice in class, but I will drop to Prima Gianna. I think she can take to the long stretch better than Shy Rosa. And to hit the exacta, hoping that Twelve Folds can pick up late.
- Race 2:
- It is now maiden time at Los Al, with 9 horses going 5.5 furlongs. Big Hat Charlie is the morning line favorite, but mainly due to his earnings and that he is starting as a Gelding for the first time. I see him as a beatable favorite. My hand goes to Artic Warrior. Two straight runner up efforts have left me wanting more. Although he is winless in 7 starts, three of those game in 2013 at Hollywood Park and one of them happened in January of 2014, before having an extended break til May 1st of this year at Santa Anita. He has been improving nicely and I like him a lot.
The perennial beginning of Summer racing has been the Hollywood Gold Cup. Now at Santa Anita, The Gold Cup still marks the start of the summer and, for one lucky horse, a trip to the Breeders Cup Classic at Keeneland come Fall. The field for The Gold Cup has been drawn, with the usually field of classic distance older California horses (minus Shared Belief and California Chrome) and a few new comers to the division.
- Batti Man – F Perez, K Mulhall
- Hard Aces – V Espinoza, J Sadler
- Poshsky – F Prat, P Miller
- Motown Men – T Baze, T West
- Majestic City – C Lopez, R Baltas
- Hoppertunity – M Garcia, B Baffert
- Big Cazanova – C Nakatani, P Miller
- Moreno – C Velasquez, E Guillot
- Catch a Flight – G Stevens, R Mandella
- Lideris – J Talamo, P Miller
- Finnegans Wake – M Smith, P Miller
Now, hours after American Pharoah ran into immortality, and the first Triple Crown in the US since 1978, it is time to see what True Speed Figures each winner on the day in the stakes races received.
- Woody Stephens:
- Ogden Phipps:
- Brooklyn Hdcp:
- Just A Game:
- Metropolitan Hdcp:
- Manhattan Hdcp:
- Belmont Stakes:
To put a few numbers into perspective, Undrafted in last years Jaipur received a 23.2 and Coffee Clique received a 21.9 in last years Just A Game. As for the Belmont Stakes, Tonalist received a -0.5 for last years.
To round out American Pharoah’s Triple Crown wins, his Kentucky Derby win was a -2.2 and his sloppy win in the Preakness was a -12.9, although the track conditions made it impossible for a good figure to be created.
Congratulation to American Pharoah on his Triple Crown win. I am hoping that his next start will be in the Haskell at Monmouth Park so that then I will have a chance to see our newest Triple Crown winner.